Monday, March 30, 2009

Apostolate of suffering part I - click to read

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust him" (Job 13:15)

"Happy is the man whom God correcteth. Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For He maketh sore, and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hand make whole" (Job 5: 17-18)

Good Lenten thoughts about value of suffering - often suffering bore with patience and trust in God is associated and followed by great blessings. Let us think about St Paul's words to Phillipians (2: 2-16): "Fulfil ye my joy, that you may be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment. Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves: Each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men's. For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation. For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will. And do ye all things without murmurings and hesitations; That you may be blameless, and sincere children of God, without reproof, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; among whom you shine as lights in the world. But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. Holding forth the word of life to my glory in the day of Christ, because I have not run in vain, nor laboured in vain."

To the Apostles Jesus said: "Amen I say to you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, shall also sit on twelve thrones , judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt 19:28).

Followers of Christ are in truth to imitate Him in some way and to follow Him - as St Paul says (2 Cor 6:4-10) - "in much patience; in tribulations, in hardships, in distress; in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults; in labours, in sleepless nights, in fastings"; but they could also declare with the same author that they existed as "chastised but not killed, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing."

(after "The Life of Christ" by Giuseppe Ricciotti)